Hook Lighthouse, County Wexford

Written by

Hook Lighthouse, Hook Head, County Wexford

Hook Lighthouse is the oldest operating lighthouse in the world. The current tower dates from the early 1200s, it was built to safeguard the entrance to Waterford Harbour and provide assistance to ships heading for the newly established port of New Ross on the River Barrow.

Hook Lighthouse stands above rocks and ocean waves on a sunny day in the south east of Ireland

Operated by monks for many centuries, the light is now electric after having burned coal, whale oil, paraffin and gas, and presently it uses a Fresnel lens. The monks left in the 16th century and it is reputed that a fire beacon existed close to the site from as early as the 5th century by the first monks to settle the peninsula. The lighthouse is now fully automatic meaning there are no lighthouse keepers.

To clarify, the Tower of Hercules - an impressive 18th century structures stands on the site of an ancient Roman lighthouse in northwest Spain, it is the oldest site of a lighthouse still in use but Hook Lighthouse is the oldest building still in use as a lighthouse.

The distinctive black and white bands of the 800 year old tower are visible for some distance as it stands 35m proud of the sloping sedimentary rocks that dip gently into the ocean.

I took this panoramic image from the ocean's edge of Hook Lighthouse on a sunny day with calm movement in the water.

Darren McLoughlin

Irishman and International travel photographer in search of the best bits of Ireland. Leading photography tours and experiences in Ireland.

Contributor to New York Times / Sunday Times / Irish Times / Echtra Echtra and Eonmusic

Cancer survivor.

Ask me about travel in Ireland or about photography in Ireland.


Leave a comment

Contact Us
1000 characters left
Cookies make it easier for us to provide you with our services. With the usage of our services you permit us to use cookies.